Asher’s Mobile

I have never been a crafty person in spite of my best efforts. However, mom’s visit in April prompted a trip to The Fiber Gallery where we bought wool roving and a beginner’s needle felting kit. For about $20 I’ve had nearly three months of therapeutic entertainment. The first thing I needle felted (is that a verb?) was an owl, and let’s just say that I was the only person who could tell that it was an owl. I realized that I started kind of big, so I tried to scale things down a notch by making a simple bird sitting on a bifurcated branch–that went pretty well but took a really long time.  I regressed some more and started working to master basic shapes. I watched a few videos on making felt balls, and used this blog post  to teach myself new techniques. [Note: I did not have great luck using the panty hose technique, and much prefer to hand roll the balls. It takes about 10-15 minutes per ball, but you have greater control over the final shape.]  I found that I really enjoyed making the balls and decorating them. I became mildly obsessed. Then, whilst making my Kentucky Derby fascinator (which involved an embroidery hoop, some Russian netting, and a ribbon studded with pom poms) I was inspired to make a mobile for my friend’s son, Asher.

First I made 15 felt balls in three different sizes. I used black, white, teal, orange, and dark purple wools for the background colors and then used contrasting colored wool to decorate the balls with designs that would catch Asher’s eye. I used mostly geometric shapes, though I did add in the requisite bird (a must have for any trend setting baby). I wanted Asher to be able to tug on the balls if he was so inspired, so I set out to find a wire that was thin enough to thread through the felted wool but sturdy enough to stand up to a baby’s grasp. I decided against metal wires [too sharp] and threads [easy to shred], and settled on fishing wire for its strength and aesthetic appeal–it made the balls look like they were floating, which was kind of cool. For the base I used a plastic embroidery hoop after discovering that I could splinter the wooden ones with very little effort. Unfortunately, the fabric store only carried plastic hoops in pastel shades of purple, yellow, or pink (blech!) so I used a fabric glue to attach a brown and cream ribbon to the hoop. R helped me finish the top with beads and then we looped it onto a copper hook she created. I think the whole project turned out pretty splendidly, and I hope Asher enjoys looking at it as much as we enjoyed making it.

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3 responses to “Asher’s Mobile

  1. We are so thankful for the mobile and honored that you made it for our little guy. It was made with so much love! Each ball is a piece of art! We love you and R and can’t thank you enough for this amazing gift! xoxoxo Trish, Julius, & Asher

    • Yay, so glad you liked it! I hope that Asher will like it too! I have two more to make this month…It will be neat to see my progression as a craftswoman. 🙂

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